05.19.2020

SIX Launches Data Sharing Platform

With the b.Link platform, SIX is creating the basis for innovative partnerships between financial institutions and third-party providers. In a first step, providers of accounting solutions in Switzerland can connect to financial institutions under controlled conditions via the standardized b.Link interfaces. Corporate customers can thereby process account information and payment orders directly in their accounting software. SIX operates b.Link as an open platform and will continuously increase the number of participating financial institutions, third-party providers and applications.

Open banking is currently a much discussed topic. Open banking seeks to establish permanent links between financial institutions and solution providers (third-party providers, TPPs), allowing customers’ data to be shared, subject to their consent, and new offers and services to be created for them.

b.Link is an enabler of new partnerships

Those participating on the b.Link platform can exchange data securely via modern, standardized interfaces (application programming interfaces, APIs). Before a participant is connected to the platform, SIX conducts the b.Link admission test to verify that the partner ensures the secure handling of sensitive financial data. The legal framework is defined by SIX by means of a uniform contract for each participant, which makes time-consuming bilateral negotiations unnecessary.

In this way, b.Link is opening up new possibilities. TPPs and financial institutions can focus more on developing services and products for their end customers, while SIX provides the necessary infrastructure and rules and regulations.

“With b.Link, SIX is creating the foundation for innovative products for participants and strengthening the Swiss financial center. We are guided by the needs of the market and our customers, and will continue to add new use cases.”
Marco Menotti, Head Business Unit Banking Services, SIX

First accounting and multibanking applications for corporate customers

SIX will initially provide two applications via b.Link.

  • The “Account Information Service for Accounting Solutions and Financial Institutions” allows third-party providers to obtain detailed account and transaction information from banks for their customers and use it, for example, for reconciliation with accounting. This is always subject to the consent of their customers.
  • Third-party providers can use the “Payment Submission Service for Accounting Solutions and Financial Institutions” to automatically order their customers’ payments at their banks. Then the customer only has to approve the payment in their e-banking application.

SIX will evaluate and implement additional applications for other target groups together with interested participants according to market needs.

Leading financial institutions and innovative third-party providers support b.Link

After a pilot phase, SIX is now launching the b.Link solution on the market together with KLARA as well as Credit Suisse, Neue Aargauer Bank and UBS. The focus will then be on bringing more banks and TPPs onto the platform. Zürcher Kantonalbank plans to begin using b.Link as of September. Intensive talks are currently being conducted with other banks and third-party providers. Interested parties are invited to contact SIX directly for further information.

“Open and secure interfaces are very important for the entire ecosystem – especially in corporate banking with its networked processes. By joining b.Link, we are expanding the range of accounting solutions we offer that our clients can easily link to their bank accounts.”
Markus R. Meyer, Head Products Corporate & Institutional Clients, UBS Switzerland AG

“As a bank for business enterprises and entrepreneurs, we want to offer our customers innovative solutions to improve their operational processes. That’s why Credit Suisse is at the forefront of this open banking initiative. As one of the pilot banks, we have already enabled our first customers to successfully use b.Link. I am very pleased that b.Link is now available to all our corporate clients via Credit Suisse Direct.”
Alain Schmid, Head Payment Services at Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd.:

“With b.Link, we can support our customers even better on the digitization path and surprise them with innovative solutions – uncomplicated, fast data exchange on a secure channel.”
Jürg Bühlmann, Head of Corporate Banking, Zürcher Kantonalbank

“The KLARA Ecosystem is being expanded by b.Link. For KLARA customers, this means that in the future, account reconciliation will be automated and their payments will be transmitted to the bank quickly and easily. This will save Swiss SMEs a lot of effort and leave them more time for their core business.”
Renato Stalder, CEO, KLARA Business Ltd

Source: SIX

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